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Adrian S. Potter

December 19, 2013

Damage Control

 

After work you drive past a building with broken windows and contemplate breaking what few windows remain intact. But it’s not easy to damage what’s already beyond repair. Think hard enough about coping and it becomes a stereo turned up way too loud, drowning out the neighbors’ quarrels. You have to improvise this life to make it tolerable. Try silence until secrets slip out, try compassion until it twists itself into cruelty. Squeal like an animal caught in a trap. Dredge the river for murder weapons and missing children. Strike a match and light the world like a Molotov cocktail, then dance as the flames consume us.

 

Signs of the Impending Apocalypse

 

Too many chemicals in the soil and the plants won’t grow. Tulips falter, swelter under the smog-red sunset. Too much humidity in the atmosphere and cars rust into nothing. Pavement buckles and the kitchen smells of sickness. Sediment in the iced tea, and we all begin having visions. Brutal imagination prods us from quilted slumber. Death gathers at the doorstep. Yesterday, we witnessed three riots. Pitchforks and hacksaws. Even the bodies pulled from gutters were woundless, immaculate. Rinsed clean as the timber bones of flooded houses, ghosted acres of sun-scorched crops. Door to door, insomniacs wander in the low hum of disaster. The collision of their bodies sparks brushfires. We are all equally far from happiness, unhinged, the night closing on us tight like a fist.

 

 

Adrian S. Potter writes both poetry and short fiction, and won the 2010 Southern Illinois Writers Guild Poetry Contest. Previous publication credits include Tidal Basin Review, Mythium, Interrobang?! and HEART. His short fiction chapbook, Survival Notes, is available through Červená Barva Press. Additional propaganda about Adrian’s writing can be found at http://adrianspotter.squarespace.com/.

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